|dc.description.abstract||The purpose of this study was to determine the relationship between specific socioeconomic variables and state effort in the support of public schools in all fifty states of the United States. Two measures of state effort to support education were identified. One was an income based measure while the other was a tax-based measure. These two indices were used as the dependent variables. The independent variables were derived from literature and were related to income, public education, demographic characteristics, and other governmental functions.
The study was carried out in five phases. Phase I involved collection of data for the calculation of the effort indices. Phase II involved the identification and collection of the socioeconomic variables. Phase III consisted of a series of stepwise regressions using the socioeconomic variables as the independent variables and state effort for education as the dependent variables. Phase IV involved the use of a principal component analysis of the socioeconomic variables and the calculation of factor scores. Phase V involved the use of the factor scores in stepwise regression equations having state effort for education as the dependent variable.
A strong positive relationship appeared to exist between state effort for education and state and local expenditures for other governmental functions. People in high effort states expected the government to provide all services to a high degree. High effort states were also characterized by having more governmental debt. These states were willing to go into debt to pay for more educational services. These high effort states had a large school age population as compared to the total population, had fewer school districts, fewer minorities, fewer elderly, and had a stable, affluent population.
Low effort states were characterized by more families below the poverty level, larger increases in the population, a larger nonpublic school enrollment, more minorities, more school districts, more state support, and fewer school aged children.
Relevant socioeconomic variables could be classified as either controllable or uncontrollable. Certain variables may represent a broader type of personal variables representing people's beliefs, values, or attitudes. These values and beliefs could interact with specific socioeconomic variables to influence the levels of state effort for education.||